Typically, 300B XLS tubes can take a higher bias current, therefore, producing higher plate dissipation. 300B XLS tubes are drop in replacements for regular 300B, but their benefits are only truly realized if you amp has adjustable bias. I have had excellent results with Emission Labs 300B XLS tubes.
Why don't you contact Canary Audio with your question?
I do not know how many tubes that you would require or your budget or how you define "premium." However, in my experience in my 300b SET, the best tubes are the Takatsuki TA-300b followed by the Sophia Royal Princess. Both easily best the Shuguang Black Treasures. I have not heard the "standard" Psvane or the Psvane WE Tribute or any of the EMLs or any of the less expensive Sophias.
( http://www.westernelectric.com/products/300b.html )
You have a 24W/Ch. PP 300b amp and I have a 25W/Ch. PP 300b integrated amp. A couple of years ago, I was exactly where you are now - trying to upgrade quality (but not the best quality) 300b tubes. IMO, the key factors involved are 1) Your amplifiers operational specifications as they relate to the tubes. This isnt a matter for opinion, just hard, cold specs. Call the companies involved and find out. 2) Tube quality. I would love to try the Takatsukis, but requiring four tubes, they're just too rich for me. I use the Sophia Royal Princesses. Theyre a big step up from second tier tubes and well worth the extra money in my application. 3) Personal preference. Buy what sounds good to you regardless of what others say. Good luck.
Phaelon makes good sense, with 4 tubes the cost begins to matter.I use the Takatsuki as gary mention above and it is brilliant. The Sophia Royal Princess is excellent in my SET amplifier and better than the WE 300b reissue tubes I tried.The Sophia RP are a lot less than the Takatsuki. I would definitely consider the EML tubes, they have very good word of mouth reputation.
I have owned both the Canary ca301 mk ii and now the Canary ca339 for many years.
The eh gold grid 300b's made a nice sonic difference over the regular eh 300bs for not significantly more money.
I would try the gold grids before spending stupid money on some of the more expensive 300b tubes.
Additionally, changing out the stock driver and input tubes to some good nos tubes makes a much bigger difference in that amp than anything you would do with 300bs in my opinion.
Change the 12ax7 to a nice telefunken and the 6sn7s to sylvanias or rca's and you have taken that amp to a whole diff. level without touching the 300b's.
Besides, I think that amp was actually designed around eh 300bs.
My amplifier's stock tube was the EH Golden Grid and it is a solid 300b.It in
no way compares to the better tubes mentioned here, not even close.
Stupid money is obviously a personal opinion. The Canary is hardly an
inexpensive amplifier, why not consider a premium tube to get the most
from a worthy design.The 300b have a pretty long life span (my SET is very
easy on these tubes, 25 watt dissipation).It's an individual choice, in my
case there's zero regret. The Takatsuki is indeed worth every cent for the
stunning sound quality it provides. It is truly one of the best audio
purchases I've made.Others are certainly free to agree or disagree. I bet
there're very few who have actually used one of these superb 300b tubes
and and wouldn't do it again in a heartbeat. Sure driver tubes make a
difference but the better 300b tubes can improve your sound very
significantly. To each their own.The Takatsuki, Sophia RP and I'm sure the
EML can honestly transform the performance of a well made 300b .Every
single time I use my amplifier (which quite frequent and for long sessions) I
am rewarded with the sheer beauty and natural presentation the premium
tube yields, how do you put a price on that? That's the entire point of
owning a good 300b amp in the first place.I want the most it has to offer,
well it sure delivers without fail(an understatement).
The white base and black base Takatsuki ta-300b are a little bit different and is also about $400 usd or so different. Please advice which version were experienced. Royal princess is very nice creating more short term excitement. Both of these 300b often cost more than western electric 300b. Problem with we300b are they often sound different ! I have some sounds better than the 2 mention here and vice versa. I run with an audio note, wavelength and Sophia amp. Sophia princess is only $500 a pair and sevelanta is even less. Both are very reasonable tube to use every day as well.
Charles and I are on the same page, and we can only report our own experiences. When I got my Def 2 speakers, I first tried an EL509, then a 45, then a 2a3, and finally a 300b SET. . . the 45 and 2a3 SET with different manufacturer tubes. The differences were modest and often within the range of reproducibility and were totally dwarfed by the improvement using the Takatsuki TA-300b. "Stupid money?" Perhaps. They are expensive - now 2000USD per pair. (I was fortunate to have sourced mine from Japan a year ago; apparently, this is no longer an option.) However, many A'gon members spend more than that on cables, tweaks, etc. Other than price, the only caveat is that the reports and reviews have always been in either an SET or a PSET amplifier; I have not heard from anyone who has used them in a PP configuration. The Sophia Royal Princess are good second choice at about half the price; I would have been happy with them. . . until I heard the Takatsukis.
I have only listened to the white base Takatsuki TA-300b. As far as I know, the black base replaced the white base versions; and the white base TA-300b are no longer made. I have gotten different answers about the differences between them and would be curious if you know any details.
No need to get so defensive about your tubes.
If you were actually listening to all that music I would hope you would be a little more relaxed.
I am the only one posting here that has extensive experience with the Canary amps.
My point was simply that he should start from the standpoint of spending less and not more and seeing what changes could be wrought before going all out with the premium 300bs.
I certainly don't care if he wants to spend more. I was just trying to let him know that that amp responds greatly to less expensive changes.
Gsm18439 (gary) makes a good point, I 'm unaware of any review or user feedback with PP amplifiers. Any tube can potentially hit or miss with a given amplifier and certainly some will mate better than others. The WE 300b is praised by many but in my own amplifier it was outclassed by the Takatsuki and Sophia RP, they were on a much higher plane(I know people will have varying outcomes). The true value of a product should be determined by the level of results it provides. The better quality 300b will simply allow a superior listening experience and deeper involvement emotionally with the music you love, what more could one ask of their audio system? As gary mentioned,I also got mine a year ago direct from Japan for 1400.00, those days are gone.Would I spent 2000.00 when I need to replace my current b pair? Absolutely! They have been extraordinary at connecting me to the soul and core of the music I enjoy.
I don't believe anyone responding here is defensive, why should we be?
This is a open forum with different points of view expressed.Your approach
is a valid and reasonable one, particularly when dealing with multiple pairs
of 300bs to replace (your case 4 pairs).You used the term "stupid
money" others here are giving an alternative perspective, nothing
more or less.This is all relative, some would contend we all spent stupid
money for our amplifiers in the first place (wasting all that money on tube
amps when many SS amps are available for far less money and more
watts!).If I needed 4 pair of 300b tubes, well then the Takatsuki is perhaps
out of range, obviously a personal call.I think we all can come here and
exchange opinions and not be considered defensive for presenting our own
experiences. No one else responding has used a derogatory term "stupid
money" other than you.I think the rest of us are relaxed and just enjoying
You did however take offense at the phrase "stupid money"
I meant nothing by it.
Anyone who posts here can be accused of spending "stupid money" if they spent anything more than a couple of hundred dollars on a stereo, when taken from the standpoint of a non-audiophile. It is all relative. Obviously, almost none of these purchases are stupid to us if we hear a change and derive enjoyment from it. My point was....I am with you. We are on the same page, though I didn't get the impression that you thought we were.
I'm with you, ,sometimes the true meaning of what we're trying to say gets lost with written text.In person and talking face to face this wouldn't be a problem. I just assume most of us who have 300b amps are the types who really connect emotionally with their music and enjoy discussing this with other liked minded people.
The price of new production 300B tubes has really escaladed over the last couple of years. I remember when a top China 300B could be has for $200/pair. European 300B, EAT, AVVT, EML, KR Audio have always been around the $700/pr mark. China and now Japan has seen a great appetite for premium 300B tubes and have marketed these tubes primarily to the US marketplace.
I am not going to comment on the value proposition of these new production tubes because price performance is purely subjective. I have listened to Takatsuki and they are indeed a superb tube, but at a price of $2,000/pr, they now make some of the European 300B look like a bargain.
On the plus side, 300Bs last a very longtime; therefore, the sting of price can be offset with the number of years of enjoyment you will get.
Also, from what I have read, 300B in PP configuration run the tubes harder when compared to single ended, therefore, an XLS tube may be better suited for your application. Take a look at the Canary specs to see exactly how the tubes are stressed. Take your time, and see what other Canary owners are using.
I know that before Coincident started marketing their own amplifiers, Coincident used Canary amps with KR 300B.
One great feature of 300b and low power DHT tubes in general is their longevity, much better and also more reliable than my prior KT 88 and 6550 tubed amps(won't go back to that).Unless you have an amp that really pushes the tube, most should get many enjoyable years from their 300b.What is the operating point and watt dissipation of the Carnary circuit. Maximum dissipation for the 300b per WE standard is 40 watts.It would seem a push pull circuit should be easier on the tube since the driving is shared among the tubes (one pushes and the other pulls)as opposed to the SET where the tube responsible for the full cycle.I certainly could be wrong.
One reason amp manufacture utilize 300B's in PP configuration is to achieve more power. Since power is the objective, most 300B PP designs run the 300B at their maximum limit. Thats the general consensus, but as always, exceptions to the rule exist.
Can anyone estimate the longevity of a 300b in a "typical" SET?
Based on the WE300B spec sheet, they should last for 40,000 hours. Remember, the 300B tube was developed to amplify telephone signals back in the late 30's.
The original WE specs predicted 40K hours as Brf said.Certainly that figure
will vary based on the brand and quality level of current tubes and how hard
that tube is stressed in a given amplifier. The Takatsuki is reportedly
constructed to a very high tolerance level (strict adherence to original 300b
specifications) with premium materials, only time will tell.When I got my
amp I asked the builder Israel Blume how long would the tubes last.He
replied that the amp is very conservative and easy on the 300b and they will
last for years(only 25 watt dissipation).Gary do you happen to know the
watt dissipation for your amplifier? The lower the number generally the less
stress on the tube.Maybe SET circuits are easier on the tubes, I really don't
Charles1dad, what kind of speakers do you have for the 300B amp?
Not sure how many watts are dissipated. I will try to find out. When I once asked Jarek (the amp designer) and Keiko (from Amtrans in Japan) the question of 300b longevity, they were non-commital. However, 40,000 hours!?! At this rate, my first pair is barely broken-in; my second pair will outlive me; and my plans to buy a third pair when I am in Japan in July are "stupid money" silly. LOL.
I think the WE spec was "up to" 40K. Like Charles mentioned, it depends on how hard they are ran (voltage and current).
I have 2 300b SET's, that run the tubes in the low 20's watt/dis. I have a PP 300b that actually runs about the same maybe a little less.
I know, 40K hours is hard to grasp.As Brf pointed out however this tube was designed for very long and trouble free use fot telephone line service. This was meant to be from the outset an ultra low maintenance service tube. What is critical is how meticulously the various current 300b tubes are made.Suppositly this is a design objective by the Japanese engineers assigned to the Takatsuki project.The tubes are too recently developed to know yet their longevity. I can only attest to superior sound at this stage.
What you wrote makes intuitive sense, push pull use shouldn't be any more stressful as the duties of the output tubes are shared.We need a amp builder to comment.
You can click my system and see pictures and description of the Coincident Total Eclipse II.
Charles, I'm with you.
I didn't think I could find a 300b amp that I didn't like, just some "more" than others. Well I did and it wasn't a cheap one. It was a brand new pair of Cary 300b SE Signature mono blocks.
I own Cary 805 AE's which I use to power my Magnepans and love them (yes, it works and works really well). For my hi-eff system I thought it would be a no brainer to get their TOTL 300b. Turns out it was a "yes" brainer. I used their supplied Chinese 300b's to break it in but it never sounded good. No matter what brand of tubes I rolled in, it never sounded right. In fact, it red plated my Sophia Meshes in 5 minutes. That was the clue that led me to finding out that they drive the 300b with 450 volts and 80 mA. Why????? Only they can explain. What I know is that even if they can get 15 watts of power out of these, if it sucks....what's the point. IMHO of course. fwiw, the amp had no bias adjustment so I took it to my tech and had him install a resistor to drop the bias. He got it down to the low 60's and it still red plated the Sophias and it still sounded bad although maybe slightly better than before.
For the OP:
The EH is a good basic 300b. Moving up the ladder...I like the Genalex a little more, the Sophia mesh a lot more and at the uppermost the EML Solidplate and Meshplate. The meshes do not want to be ran hard. There is less plate to dissipate (did I just make a rhyme?) so you will want to find out the specs of your amp before trying them. If your amps do run the tubes hard, I would highly recommend the EML 300bxls. That tube could last easily twice as long so divide their cost by 2 and maybe they aren't that expensive.
I have a Canary CA-339 MKII amp and went through the same thing a few months back. I ended up with Psvane T-series 300B and CV-181 (6SN7). I purchased mine from Grant Fidelity (Rachel). I just love these tubes and glad I made the move. Now Psvane has a newer version of the T-series. I can't comment on those. My previous tubes was EH Gold Grid. They where excellent tubes but not on the same level as the Psvane IMHO. Now of course the Psvane cost a lot more.
Good luck on your search.
Where can I buy the Takatsuki 300b tubes?